|Pedroia scores tie-breaking run in Boston’s victory|
The Boston Red Sox took 15 innings to gain a win on Friday night over the host Tampa Bay Rays. But win they did after scoring seven times in the top of the 15th, going on to a 13-6 victory.
The victory lowered Boston’s “Magic Number” for clinching the American League East Division crown to 13 over the New York Yankees.
The Yankees had earlier kept the pressure on their longtime arch-rivals with an 8-2 win in the Bronx over the Baltimore Orioles.
With that win, New York remained three games behind Boston. However, the Yanks also lowered their own “Magic Number” to just 10 in order to clinch at least an AL Wildcard playoff berth.
In Tampa, Dustin Pedroia led off the top of the 15th for Boston by reaching on an error. The result left him as only the third batter in the history of the Red Sox to go 0-9 in a game. Three singles, a double, and another error later, and the Bosox had completed their seven-run outburst.
Shortstop Xander Bogaerts had four hits for Boston. Mookie Betts and Mitch Moreland each had three, while four other Red Sox registered multi-hit games.
“Our guys have done such a good job as we’ve gotten into some of these really long games, almost marathon-type games, and they don’t quit, they keep digging for a little extra,” Boston manager John Farrell said per Connor Mount for MLB.com following the game.
Meanwhile, up in Yankee Stadium, a two-run homer off the bat of Didi Gregorius broke a 2-2 tie in the bottom of the 5th inning. The Yankees then put together a three-run rally in the bottom of the 7th, and got a solo home run from Greg Bird in the bottom of the 8th to put it away.
“We have to bear down in these last couple weeks and go for the playoffs,” Gregorius said per Roger Rubin for MLB.com following the game. “That’s what we’re shooting for.”
Luis Severino pitched eight strong innings for New York, allowing just three hits and a walk while striking out seven. The 23-year old raised his record to 13-6 on the season with the victory.
Both series continue through this weekend. Next week, the Red Sox will stay on the road, visiting both Baltimore and Cincinnati for three games each.
The Yankees will remain at home to open next week against Minnesota, with the Twins battling for their own playoff lives in that AL Wildcard race. New York ends the week by traveling north to Toronto to face the Blue Jays in what will be their final road trip of the regular season.